Archive for November, 2009
Social Media humanizes your brand? Sure but firms are more concerned about “negative comments”…true?
You bet! of course that depends on how you interaction and converse online. Social media gives firms the opportunity never before access to consumer’s candid feedback and are given the opportunity to shine like never before if done right.
But the ‘problem’ I see is that a significant number of firms still treat the social media as a channel for sales i.e make the next sales. Firms should think beyond that and use social media as a means to better interact with their customers and garner feedback and of course genuine treat feedback as something positive not negative.
But from experience, it seems (having spoken to many firms) is they seem to be concern about one major point – what if something talks bad about me “can i delete that comment” and “why should I get myself in that situation” instead of talking about how I should engage my customers or have a content strategy. They seemed fixated on “negativity”…
For those firms, I always have a standard reply “Social Media did not invent criticism” – firms have always dealt with complains via phone calls etc. So how different is this? Why are firms using this as an “excuse”?
Do firms always cite “online criticism” as something that are really concerned about? I’m keen to hear your thoughts…
A day doesn’t go by (online and offline) where people talk about seeding conversations – afterall it has been said social media is all about conversation and that content whilst important (takes a queen role) where interactions (or conversation) take a KING role.
So naturally, we need to have conversations online to ensure success (an indicator of success) – afterall agencies will be hammered should there by no conversations online – darn boring!
So what do agencies and corporations do? they seed! they enter the social media space and start talking (in the pretense of just another person – like a customer or potential customer) and hopefully they will engage the audience. Nothing wrong with that per se but is it authentic and may I dare say ethical?
I’ve also seen job placement ads that explicit states “Social Media Seeder” – in my opinion, its fine if one states it at the outset that X is a seeder in the social media space at least that sets the audience in the right frame of mind but my argument here is for those who pretend that they are just like you and I and start contributing away…
Afterall in social media – audiences that participate in this space want candid and truthful feedback and it has been found that a fair number make decisions based on those feedbacks.
So if that is the case, is it ethical to do that from an corporation point of view? Are these corporations ‘lying’ to the audience? What are the implications if the audience finds out that it is actually the agency or the company feeding all these information to the people and they had the impression that they were genuine. Would there be a public backlash? and in turn people may lose trust in the organization and ultimately it will hit the firm’s bottomline.
There are many questions here, until the industry starts to realize and debate about this, then this can move forward, at this moment it is still rather grey.
Is this the beginning of “Stealth Marketing”? – actually lets start defining “Stealth Marketing”
I’m keen to hear your thoughts.